CSUN Students Win Top Prize at Model United Nations
April 6, 2015
A delegation of undergraduate students from California State University, Northridge won the coveted “Outstanding Delegation Award” at this year’s National Model United Nations Conference in New York City. The award, given by the National Collegiate College Association, is the highest team prize given at the conference. It honors a team’s success in formulating solutions to global problems and in winning support from other delegates.
Model UN New York, a five-day conference held annually at Times Square venues, is the largest and most important Model UN Event held in the world, bringing together about 3000 students from hundreds of colleges around the world. A team of 16 CSUN undergraduate students participated in the event, led by two “head delegates,” Jesus Martinez-Ramirez and Andrew Heineman, both political science majors graduating this May. Professor Keiko Hirata of the Political Science department taught the Model UN class and accompanied the students to New York as faculty advisor.
In addition to the Outstanding Delegation Award, individual CSUN students captured several other prominent prizes. Jesus Martinez-Ramirez and Xochitl Medrano won the Outstanding Position Paper Award in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Committee. Saleem Hawatmeh and Hoory Minoyan gained the Outstanding Delegates Award in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Blanca Martinez and Eric Martinez earned the Outstanding Delegates Award in the General Assembly First. The last award was especially noteworthy, as the General Assembly committee had nearly 300 delegates that competed for the honor.
“I am so proud of the CSUN delegates,” said faculty advisor Hirata. “They prepared tirelessly in the weeks leading to the conference. Then, after attending conference sessions from 8:30 am to 11:00 pm each day, they held midnight team meetings to hone their policy proposals and coordinate their activities. Their hard work paid off. They learned the importance of discipline, teamwork, and follow-through, which will help them become leaders in our community and beyond.”
Head delegate and award winner Martinez-Ramirez summarized what the conference meant to him and other delegates: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. We are so appreciative of the university for giving us this opportunity. It was a leadership experience that we will never forget.”
Members of California State University, Northridge's Model United Team celebrate their "Outstanding Delegation Award" at the United Nations building in New York.